This past June the Nordstrom family, which holds a majority stake in the high-end department store announced that it was looking to sale its controlling stake. However, this past Monday, Nordstrom stock fell 7% as reports have come out stating that the family has had troubles securing financing for the buyout following the bankruptcy filing by Toys R Us. This is yet another example of old school retailers struggling with the emergence of new, online competitors. This becomes more apparent when you look at the growth their online competitors have been experiencing. Amazon keeps growing after it entered the grocery and online streaming sectors. Walmart, which struggled at first, has seen a resurgence after aggressive acquisitions in order to strengthen their e-commerce.
Nordstrom was already in talks with Leonard Green, a private equity firm. Leonard Green would provide the family with roughly $1 billion in equity to help fund Nordstrom’s bid to go private. However, after the results seen his week, the private equity firm may be forced to back out of the deal. Traditional retailers have been struggling with more now than ever before, ever since the change of shopping habits of the modern consumer. Changes in shopping habits are not new, we have seen this happen time and again over the years. At first, we had specialty stores, then came department stores, then big box stores, and now online retailers. Only those that have been able to adapt have survived and thrived as consumer habits have changed.